Articles

urban cemetery sit spot

An Urban Story of Sitting

I love my neighborhood. It is so full of life—eclectic, eccentric, seedy, edgy, quirky, resilient, creative, beautiful life. Until two years ago, I would have said that all this abundance was predominantly of the human variety. Now, of course, I know differently, as I am greeted by display after stunning display of the bounty that […]

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water hemlock

Water Hemlock: Deadly Plants

Water Hemlock and its close relations are the most poisonous deadly plants in North America. All parts are deadly poisonous. Even a small mouthful of Water Hemlock can kill an adult. Therefore it stands to reason that ingesting even a little bit of Water Hemlock juice will make a person seriously ill. It’s best to […]

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sparrow diving

Why I Buy Sunflower Seeds

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you run and run but never seem to get anywhere? I woke up from a nap the other day with my heart pounding and sweat beading on my forehead. I hadn’t been running in my dream—I had been flapping. I dreamt I was a migrating bird. […]

Posted in Birds & Bird LanguageTagged , , , , ,

The Very Favorite Field Pack

“If my house was burning down, I would grab my Kamana binders.” This came matter-of-factly from a Kamana graduate I met at Wilderness Awareness School. I was in the midst of Kamana Three at the time, slogging through piles of plant taxonomy. The going was tough, and I wasn’t moving as quickly as I would […]

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caterpillar on milkweed

The World of Insects

It’s common knowledge that monarch butterfly caterpillars eat only milkweed, but did you know that many other insects also feed exclusively on this host plant? Munched milkweed leaves could also be the work of (among other things) milkweed tussock moth caterpillars (Euchaetes), milkweed longhorn beetles (Tetraopes), milkweed weevils (Rhyssomatus), or swamp milkweed leaf beetles (Labidomera […]

Posted in Scientific Musings, Wildlife and TrackingTagged , , ,
topographical map

Topo Maps for Dummies

I have a confession: I am terrible when it comes to reading topo maps. I think they are amazing tools, I like looking at them, I can glean some information from them, but when it comes to actually using them, I am an adamant beginner! I decided it was time I got some education, so […]

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squirrel climbing tree

The Tree Climbers

It was my day of rest yesterday. I spoke to family and friends, went fishing at the lake, read a few pages of Bernd Heinrich’s “Mind of the Raven”, cleaned my boots, and closed my eyes at my Sit Spot. But that was only the beginning. Behind me, the sun was nearing due west, still […]

Posted in Core RoutinesTagged , ,
trees in winter

Connecting with Trees in Winter

I love exploring the woods behind my house in the wintertime. I love the way the wall of green that protects certain areas in the summer lets its guard down for those who are willing to brave the winter cold. I tend to venture into new areas, exploring the hidden hollows and dark thickets that […]

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Fire making is a core survival skill

5 Basic Survival Skills

Survival techniques are plentiful, but there are five basic survival skills that everyone who ventures into the outdoors should understand, and be fully aware of their potential need and use. This is just a brief outline, not a full explanation of all the requirements and items required in each category. One of the most important […]

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lichen on a large tree

The Tree of (Survival) Knowledge

Since the dawn of time, humans have enjoyed an essential relationship with trees. They provide for the human necessities of food, fire, and shelter, as well as a myriad of other uses. But the trees themselves are also hosts to countless resident organisms, virtually all of which can be harnessed by the resourceful survivalist. In […]

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